Ad Expenditure: US$9.58bn 2016 GroupM Forecast This Year Next Year
Canada's Top Advertising Agencies
There is no accepted ranking of Canada's top advertising agencies by billings. The closest is a ranking by the number of creative awards collected during the course of the year, compiled by local trade magazine Strategy:
Strategy Magazine's "Most Creative Agencies" in Canada 2015
The local arm of DDB, formerly Palmer Jarvis DDB, has offices in Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton and Montreal. Widely recognised as one of the country's top agencies, DDB has been named Strategy's Agency of the Year nine times since 2000, most recently for 2014, and has won more awards than any other Canadian agency.
The Toronto outpost of Leo Burnett vies with DDB for the title of Canada's most creative agency, and has enjoyed a run of success in the past couple of years. It was the network's own Agency of the Year for 2011 in its annual inhouse awards, as well as runner-up in local trade magazine Strategy's creative report card for 2014.
Rethink is an independent advertising and
design agency with offices in Vancouver and Toronto. It was launched in 1999 in Vancouver by three senior staffers from the Palmer Jarvis agency, who jumped ship to launch their own business shortly after their employer was acquired by DDB.
Lg2 is an independent advertising and design agency specialising in Francophone marketing for the Quebec region. Though small, Lg2 punches above its weight creatively, featuring regularly among Canadian national awards rankings. It was founded in 1992, and is still run by, Sylvain Labarre and Paul Gauthier.
Headquartered in Toronto, BBDO also has offices in Calgary and Montreal (as Nolin BBDO). It was formed from a series of acquisitions, including Baker Lovick and Canada's oldest ad agency McKim, founded in 1899. BBDO Canada was Strategy magazine's Agency of the Year for 2011. x
Saatchi & Saatchi operates a single office in Toronto. A Francophone outpost in Montreal was shuttered in the mid 2000s. In 2013 the agency acquired digital and promotional marketing agency TPM Communications to strengthen its relationship with shared key client Toyota. x
J Walter Thompson is one of Canada's leading creative agencies, with offices in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal. Though it manages a sizeable roster of clients, the agency is perhaps best-known for its long-standing relationship with Canada's favourite coffee bar chain Tim Hortons.
Owned since 2013 by WPP, John St is a highly regarded creative agency in Toronto offering a range of services including design through part-owned Amoeba Corp. It was launched in late 2001 by a group of executives who had jumped ship from the old Ammirati Puris Lintas agency in Canada.
The local outpost of Grey Advertising has offices in Toronto and Vancouver. Once one of the country's top agencies, performance faltered towards the end of the 2000s. Stephanie Nerlich was hired from Lowe Roche to become president & CEO in 2011, and has overseen a steady revival of the business.
Cossette is Canada's leading Francophone agency, dominating Quebec's ad market for more than 30 years. The group also has subsidiaries in English-speaking Canada. Until recently it was the core business within marketing group Vision7. It was acquired in 2014 by Chinese group BlueFocus.
Taxi is a highly regarded creative agency with several offices in Canada, as well as in the US and Europe. Founded in 1992, Taxi established itself as one of Canada's most admired agencies in the 2000s, Agency of the Year no less than five times. It was acquired by WPP in 2010 and absorbed the local operations of Y&R in 2015.
Red Urban is a client conflict unit aligned with the DDB network. In Canada, it had primarily handled the Volkswagen account to avoid a clash with DDB's longtime local client Subaru. In 2015, the VW and Subaru accounts swapped places, with the former moving to DDB, and the latter to Red Urban.